In mid-July thirty-seven member organisations of the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA) came together from around Australia for the National Health Reform Summit to assess the key needs and issues in the Australian health system. Sixty participants were challenged and informed by a range of stimulating speakers from diverse organisations and perspectives.
At the end of the Summit, the following Communique was released by AHCRA members. The Communique outlines key areas of concern for AHCRA members and agreed priority issues for action over the next 1-2 years. Overall, the Communique echoes the concerns expressed by a broad range of health experts and stakeholder groups about the Government’s policy direction, in particular in relation to the potential for the creation of a two-tier system through a weakening of universal primary health care infrastructure and the increased involvement of private health insurance. The Communique also calls for greater attention to reducing waste within the health system and for greater consumer and community involvement in health care.
Matthew Giles reports: As part of the 2014 National Suicide Prevention Conference in Perth last week, Suicide Prevention Australia presented the LiFE Awards for Excellence in Suicide Prevention. Among the usual crowd of public health professionals, doctors and academics was John Brady, a former construction worker and small business owner, whose organisation MATES in Construction [...]
Australia is not the only country with a health system under pressure from rising health care costs and increasing demand from a growing and ageing population. A spate of recent research and policy papers from Europe shows that this part of the world is debating many of the same issues that confront governments, policy makers [...]
What can we learn from the UK’s recent experiments in primary health care about co-payments, economic incentives and the impact of creating barriers to access? Margaret Faux, from the University of Technology, Sydney, outlines some important messages for Governments and policy makers wishing to head down the same path as the National Health Services. She writes: This year two of the best among the developed [...]
Matthew Giles reports: One of the concepts that will endure beyond the bounds of the 2014 National Suicide Prevention Conference is the value of learning from the lived experience of suicide. Throughout the conference, attendees and presenters alike emphasised the need to include in research and prevention programs the voices of people who have survived [...]
Marie McInerney reports: Among the stars at AIDS 2014, the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, were Bill Clinton, Bob Geldof and, perhaps lesser known outside HIV circles, Professor Françoise Barré Sinoussi, outgoing President of the International AIDS Society (IAS) and the Nobel Laureate who co-discovered HIV. So Simoussi’s formal visit to the Indigenous Networking [...]
Evelyne de Leeuw, Associate Professor, Public Health and Health Policy at La Trobe University writes: Globally, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) constitute the main causes of morbidity, mortality and disability. This has been recognised by the United Nations as a major international crisis. The international community has started to coordinate its efforts to deal with the crisis. [...]
Marie McInerney reports: Elders and young people may hold the key to beating stigma and discrimination about HIV and AIDS and to promoting better prevention in Indigenous communities. Eleven Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders from across Australia were special guests at the International Indigenous Pre-Conference on HIV and AIDS, held in the lead-up to [...]
By Frances Gilham HIV and AIDS: pain and progress This fortnight we witnessed the devastating news about the Malaysia Airlines flight disaster. Grief and shock hit an international conference on HIV and AIDS being held in Australia – AIDS 2014 – when the news emerged that some of the world’s leading HIV/AIDS researchers and advocates [...]
While there has been a lot of focus on the federal budget’s potential impact on health services it is easy to forget that there are many health services facing immediate funding issues. Today AMSANT released the following press release: Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT (AMSANT) today called for urgent action to ensure that Aboriginal communities [...]
The Croakey blog is a forum for debate and discussion about health issues and policy. It is moderated by Melissa Sweet, a freelance journalist with a personal and professional bent towards public health perspectives. Regular contributors include members of the Crikey Health and Medical Panel.